Budget Indonesian food in Abu Dhabi's Tourist Club Area Reviews

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Bandung’s orange neon sign and cheerful red tables meant that, for a split second, the cafeteria seemed like an inviting place to eat – an impression that was proved wrong when the smoky atmosphere and blaring television set promptly forced us to relocate to the patio outside.

Eating out of sight of the staff meant we were instantly forgotten, and the service throughout the meal was slow and half-hearted. We tucked into the chicken satay first, which had a crunchy, nutty texture, and would have been an appealing dish if the meat hadn’t been slightly burnt. But the second starter was 10 times worse – stripped beef in coconut soup turned out to be chewy cubes of fat in a buttery, thick curry sauce.

The meal’s one saving grace was the rack of braised lamb. We had low expectations as the sauce looked exactly like the coconut soup, but, luckily, the taste was completely different. An unusual mix of delicate flavours, it had a base of creamy coconut milk, lightly spiced with touches of turmeric, cardamom and lemongrass, and tinged with a warming taste of cinnamon and cloves. Amazingly, it worked; although, sadly, the lamb itself was a little on the bland side.

The dessert finale almost left us in hysterics. There were just two options on the menu, but the waitress – who we had to get up and search for – told us there was only one available and recommended we ordered just a single portion. We soon found out why. What she brought out can only be described as something from a sci-fi horror movie – gloop with unidentifiable bright green shapes floating on top. Nonetheless, we each bravely picked up a spoon and took a deep breath. The sugary coconut liquid was sickly and the tasteless green bean curd was like eating melted jelly. We didn’t risk a second spoonful.

There aren’t too many Indonesian eateries in the capital, and Bandung’s lack of competition definitely shows, as all in all the meal was disastrous. On the plus side, it was very cheap, but we won’t be making a return visit anytime soon.

The bill (for two)
Chicken Satay Dhs14
Beef soup Dhs17
Rack of braised lamb Dhs18
Indonesian style fried rice with shrimps Dhs18
Coconut and brown sugar syrup ‘puzzle’ Dhs15
Total (excluding service) Dhs82

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 645 2008
  • Travel: Navy Gate

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Bandung On The Map

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  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: bembi on 03 Dec ' 09 at 20:55
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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